High temps take toll on county

Published 9:10 pm Friday, June 26, 2009

Anyone spending time outdoors this month might find themselves breaking out in song — “It’s been a cruel, cruel summer.”

At least that’s how it may seem with temperatures reaching close to 100 degrees in the last few weeks.

While Pike County’s temperatures have not broken any seasonal records yet, National Weather Service Meteorologist Ken Lorek said they have been a little above normal.

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And local resident Claire Taylor, who was spending time with her children at the Troy Recreation Center Friday, agreed.

“The summers seem to be getting hotter,” Taylor said.

“The pool lets us do what we want while the kids play. The pool also gives the kids something else to do besides just staying inside.”

Lorek said summer months will continue to bring warm temperatures, but starting Monday, Pike County residents will at least feel a little relief.

“There will be a cold front coming through Monday morning, then there should be some relief to more normal conditions,” Lorek said.

This front, however, will just bring temperatures down from the upper 90s to the lower.

Also with summer heat comes higher utility costs, and those are costs that local organizations may not be able to ease as much as they have in the past.

That’s what American Red Cross Director Jane Thrash said she expects will happen, since the organization’s allocations were cut in half this year.

Thrash said the Pike County Red Cross will help assist elderly and disabled who meet requirements with utility bills, beginning in July.

Through the Project Share Program, Thrash said elderly above the age of 62 and disabled, who have notes from their physicians and meet income requirements, can seek assistance with utility bills one month between July and December.

While the program doesn’t begin until July, Thrash said the Red Cross has seen many concerned about funding utility bills in high temperatures.

“We’re going to see more and more because they are worried about air conditioners and fans,” Thrash said. “We feel like we will be seeing more people than what we’ve seen in the past because of heat.”

Red Cross is not the only utility-assistance program offered locally.

Colley Senior Complex Director Janet Motes said the Organized Community Action Program also contributes.

To reach the Red Cross, which has moved to 131 S.A. Graham Blvd. in Brundidge, call 566-0632, 372-5915, 735-2004 or 735-2101.

The Organized Community Action Program can be contacted at 566-6959.